There are countless types of smokers out there. Some relish in cleaning their pipes or bongs. These stoners are usually highly organized, and carry this penchant for organization into every aspect of their life (including smoking). Cleaning their weed pipes and bowls gives them energy and makes them happy. Then, there’s the rest of us. If you’re like me, you avoid cleaning bowls until they’re completely clogged with resin and unusable. At that point, you have no choice other than cleaning your bong or pipe.
In this post, we’ll cover some of the most common ways to clean pipes and bowls. In addition, we’ll outline every aspect of getting your pipe completely clean in our step-by-step guide to cleaning pipes and bongs. Once you’re finished and you take the first toke from your freshly-cleaned pipe, you’ll be amazed at the flavourful nuances of the premium flower you’ve been missing.
- Cleaning pipes or bongs reduces resin buildup
- Improves taste
- Reduces carcinogens
- Frequency matters! Clean early and often
Why Should I Clean My Pipe or Bong?
First and foremost, cleaning a pipe gives you clean, smooth hits instead of the harsh, tarry smoke of a resin-caked bowl or bong. It makes smoking a much more pleasant experience, helping to eliminate coughing fits and sore throats.
Additionally, smoking a clean pipe allows a user to fully experience the flavours of they’re sparking up. It doesn’t matter what kind of weed you’re smoking if you’re using a dirty pipe: instead of savouring its natural notes, your taste buds will be assaulted by an amalgamation of resin and ash. At that point, it’s useless to buy weed for its taste, since you won’t really be tasting it anyway. Through a clean pipe, smokers can truly appreciate their weed’s flavour.
However, there’s one reason to clean your pipe that’s significantly more important than smooth smoke or improved taste: health. Built-up tar and resin in a bowl or pipe contain stashes of carcinogens, and every time a smoker hits a dirty pipe, these foul chemicals are entering their bodies. Getting rid of the tar built up in a pipe or bong will actually make it healthier for you in the long-run.
Cleaning Pipes and Bongs: A Step-By-Step Guide
Cleaning pipes requires a different technique than cleaning bongs. Pipes are small and easy to submerge in a cleaning solution. For bongs, this isn’t possible. We’ve outlined the basics of each technique below.
Cleaning a Bowl
Gear You’ll Need:
- Ziploc bag
- Cleaning solution
- Abrasive agent
- Scraping/poking tool
- Cleaning a bowl is much easier than cleaning a bong. First, fill the Ziploc bag with a cleaning solution. Isopropyl alcohol works really well, although you could use vinegar instead. Many companies also sell commercial cleaning solutions, and in a pinch, you can even use dish soap. You can use hydrogen peroxide, although this doesn’t work as well.
- Add some kind of abrasive agent into the Ziploc bag. Salt is great, and baking soda also works well since it bubbles in a solution.
- Put your pipe into the bag. You’ll want to make sure that the pipe is fully submerged in the cleaning solution/abrasive agent mix. Shake the bag to agitate the mixture inside, but be careful not to drop it!
- Now, it’s time to play the waiting game. Give your bowl some time to sit in the bag. After an hour or so, you’ll see the cleaning solution begin to turn black as the tar and resin in your pipe break down.
- Once the solution in the bag becomes dark-coloured and dirty, empty it out and repeat the process until the cleaning solution stops changing colour.
There may be some particularly obstinate pieces of resin inside your pipe that refuse to come out. If this happens, you can use your scraping/poking tool to loosen the tar up. Then, blow into the carb of your pipe while covering the bowl. The resin ball should shoot out of the mouthpiece. If it doesn’t, keep working on it with your poking tool. Once you’re done, your bowl will be as clean as the day you bought it!
Cleaning a Bong
Cleaning a bong can be a little bit of an endeavour, simply because they’re usually so big that you can’t fit them inside a Ziploc bag. However, the basic premise is still the same as cleaning a pipe.
Tools You’ll Need:
- Ziploc bag
- Cleaning solution
- Abrasive agent
- Remove your bowl and downstem from your bong. Place them in a Ziploc bag and perform the same cleaning technique you’d use for a pipe.
- Next, pour some cleaning solution into the top of your bong and let it run through any percolators on its way into the bottom.
- Add the abrasive agent through the hole your downstem normally occupies.
- To agitate a bong, shake the entire piece. Do this very carefully, and make sure you plug the downstem hole so you’re not splashing cleaning solution everywhere.
- Repeat as necessary. Once your bong is clean, rinse thoroughly with water.
How Often Should I Clean My Pipe or Bong?
There’s one last piece to the puzzle: how frequently you should clean your pipe or bong. There’s no concrete answer to this question. Instead, you’ll need to consider how often you smoke. If you’re ripping three square bowls a day, you’ll need to clean your pipe or bong more frequently than if you’re a weekend warrior.
In addition, you’ll need to consider what kind of piece you’re smoking out of. Since bongs filter more tar and resin from your smoke, you’ll likely need to clean them more frequently than you would a pipe. You can also extend deep cleans by performing maintenance cleans after every smoke. Rinsing a bong with water will help stave off tar buildup, extending the amount of time between deep cleans.
Keep Your Piece Pristine!
Don’t just keep your pipe or bong clean for yourself. Think of everyone else that you smoke with. You wouldn’t want to invite a guest into a dirty house, why would you pass them a dirty pipe or bong? With these techniques, you’ll be able to keep your pipes and bongs fresh, clean, and pristine. And as always, if you need some herb to pack into that freshly-cleaned bowl, trust Greenz to deliver!